EMDR Therapy

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EMDR Treatment

Has something happened to you that you can’t seem to get past or keeps getting in the way of you moving forward?

Are you trying to make changes but keep repeating the same patterns repeatedly without knowing why?

Do you find yourself quickly reacting or overreacting to situations without realizing it, knowing why you are being so reactive, and/or being able to stop your reaction? 

Have you noticed a pattern of getting into destructive or unhealthy friendships and releationships?

Maybe your past is interfering with you getting through your day- perhaps you are struggling with intrusive thoughts or unexplained fear or panic? Maybe it’s not always on your mind, but it’s causing relationship issues or stopping you from achieving what you want. Perhaps you are trying to avoid something extremely painful because talking about it overwhelms you with emotions.

Cartoon woman hauling heavy ball and chain labeled "Past Painful Experience" as a demonstration of how the past can leave you feeling stuck and how EMDR therapy can free you from that weight

Whatever the reason you’re feeling stuck, EMDR can help.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that has been extensively researched and proven effective for treating a variety of conditions, such as:

  • Trauma
  • Grief and Loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Releationship Issues
  • Stress
  • Performance Issues

How Does EMDR Therapy Work?

EMDR helps your heal from a traumatic experience. Sometimes our brains' natural trauma recovery process doesn’t effectively work on its own and needs help.  In these situations, our brain hasn’t internalized the message that the danger has passed. When we remain distressed after a traumatic or disturbing event, associated cues (such as images, sounds, smells, tones of voices, upsetting thoughts, or emotions) can create fear or overwhelm us; our brain starts to feel as if we are back in that moment and react accordingly. EMDR activates the neural networks of the brain so that it can process these memories to allow normal healing to resume.

EMDR Can Help You Become "Unstuck" From Your Past

Cartoon woman being free of heavy weight of painful past experiences and heading to a brighter future thanks to EMDR treatmentEMDR is different from other therapies in that it does not require discussing the painful memory in detail or completing "homework" between sessions.

EMDR is designed to resolve unprocessed traumatic memories in the brain so that the memory and the experiences and memories associated with the memory (sights, sounds, smells, tones of voices, etc.) no longer affect you with the same intensity. 

After processing memories with EMDR, people are less affected by past memories and better prepared for handling future stressful situations.

Many people have faster results with EMDR therapy than with traditional psychotherapy.


Is EMDR the same as hypnosis?

EMDR therapy is different from hypnosis. Hypnosis focuses on getting clients into an altered state of mental relaxation so that they are more suggestive of messages. In EMDR, clients maintain a state of “dual awareness.” This means that they focus on a memory while being fully present in the therapy office (or home space, if completed virtually). In EMDR, the healing is driven by the client's connections during processing rather than guided by the therapist.

Will I forget the memory after EMDR?

No. EMDR will not make you forget your past or difficult memories. You will still remember your past, and when you think about the painful event, you will still remember that it was painful for you at the time you experienced it. With EMDR, you will no longer be constantly reminded of the painful event in the present, and when you are reminded of it, it will not feel as if it just happened, and you no longer experience the pain in the present moment.

What are the side effects of EMDR?

As with any form of psychotherapy, you may experience a temporary increase in distress. Some memories cannot be resolved within one session, and material for processing may arise between sessions in dreams, memories, and other feelings.

How many sessions will EMDR take?

While EMDR generally gets results faster than traditional psychotherapy, it is not a one-session cure. There are no prescribed amount of sessions. Each individual is different, and the number of sessions will depend on the person, the degree of trauma, and the length of time spent processing.

What does an EMDR therapy session look like?

Everyone is different, so sessions will look different. There are 8 phases of EMDR therapy. In the beginning, we will start by discussing your history and identifying target memories affecting you and needing processing. Before beginning active memory processing, we will give you tools to prepare you to handle the distress you are experiencing related to the memory and any additional feelings that may come up as you start to deal with the memory.

In a processing session, you will focus on details of the memory while I guide you through brief sets of eye movements (or a similar activity to help you focus on the memory). During these sets, you may connect to other memories, gain different insights or realizations, or experience body sensations that will help you process the memory. We will take breaks between each set so that you can share what you experienced during the set and then continue so that you can make additional connections.

We will end each session with an activity to ensure you feel calm, grounded, in control, and empowered. When you are no longer disturbed by the memory, we focus on instilling a positive belief about yourself connected to the memory and ultimately work on preparing you for managing future stressful situations in a more positive, adaptive way.

Do I have to do eye movements? I wear glasses; I’m worried I’ll get dizzy or for some other reason.

While EMDR is generally most effective with eye movements, there are alternative methods if you feel uncomfortable using them. I have a device you can hold in each hand that produces a similar effect, or you can self-administer alternative taps on your shoulders, which I can help you pace using sound.

Can EMDR be provided via telehealth?

EMDR can be done via telehealth, and I provide it virtually on a case-by-case basis. You must have the correct support and resources to ensure that virtual EMDR is provided safely and effectively. Clients struggling with dissociation or processing complex trauma generally benefit from the additional support of in-person sessions or from having another person readily available at the time of processing. The correct technology is also essential. You must have a camera, a secure and stable Wi-Fi connection, and access to a quiet environment.

For more information on EMDR, please see this video, courtesy of EMDR International Association